The Best Cloud Invoicing Software for Freelancers: FreshBooks vs. Harvest

Harvest vs. Freshbooks

I finally decided that it was time to move from my primitive accounting “system” based on Word and Excel to a modern cloud-based solution for my freelance business.  I wanted invoicing, time tracking, and expense tracking.  After doing some research online, I narrowed my choices to two popular solutions: FreshBooks and Harvest.  I signed up … Read more

Create a “Slot Machine” Hover Effect with CSS

Slot Machines

A client requested a “slot machine” hover effect for their social network buttons.  When you hover on the icon, it moves up, sort of like in a slot machine, and changes color.  Here’s an example of what I’m talking about: It turns out that this effect can be accomplished with some clever CSS!  No JavaScript … Read more

Host Multiple Sites on a Single Amazon EC2 Instance

Construction cranes

Here’s how to host multiple sites on your EC2 instance running the Amazon Linux AMI.  You might want to host different websites on a single instance, or perhaps just different subdomains, i.e., “subdomain.yoursite.com” (this is what I wanted to do). Assign a Static IP Address The first thing you should do, if you haven’t already, … Read more

Modify Your .htaccess File to Eliminate Query Strings and Make Pretty URLs

I developed a website for a client that would display different photos based on a query string in the URL.  An example of this type of URL would be “http://mysite.com/album.php?photo=ab12345”. But, that is an ugly URL. Not only that, some people claim its not ideal for SEO.  Much better would be “http://mysite.com/ab12345”.  Here’s how to … Read more

Style the WordPress Media Player!

Speaker cone

The WordPress 3.6 Media Player came at just the right time for me. Just a month before, Yahoo discontinued their Yahoo Player, and I was left without an audio player solution that I liked which didn’t use Flash.  Then came the WordPress 3.6 to save the day! In this version, WordPress has incorporated the MediaElement.js … Read more

How to Prevent and Deal with Mean Comments on Your Blog

Troll

Blogging can be a very personal experience. You’re baring your soul before the world. You are vulnerable. One of the worst things is to put yourself out there and receive critical or even mean or hateful comments. I’ve been blogging for some years and overwhelmingly, the response has been positive.  But, one bad or mean … Read more

Make Any WordPress Theme Responsive (Mobile-Friendly)

WordPress structure

Here is the scenario: You’ve searched high and low and found the perfect WordPress theme for yourself or your client. But, there’s one big problem: it’s not mobile-friendly. With mobile web traffic soon expected to exceed desktop web traffic, being mobile-friendly is critical. I often have to go through the exercise of converting a non … Read more

Dynamically Resize an iFrame Using jQuery

I was given the task to fix a website bug of the following nature:  There is an iframe containing a “submit” button.  When the Submit button is pressed, new content is loaded into the iframe and the size of the iframe gets much larger.  Unfortunately, the containing window does not get larger and ugly scroll … Read more

Trademark Your Website or Blog Name

One of my blogs reached a level of popularity and income where I started thinking about trademarking the name of the site. I figured that would protect it from someone trying to steal my URL by changing “.com” to “.info” or whatever. I hate legal stuff but I went ahead and did a bunch of … Read more

Add Your Website Icon to the Browser Tab

favicons

The little icon that shows up in each web page’s browser tab is called a “favicon”.  Adding this tiny detail really gives your website a professional appearance in the browser.  Here’s how to do it. If You’re Using WordPress… WordPress provides a way to specify the favicon. Log into your site and go to Appearance … Read more

Make a Background of an Image Transparent

Often times you’ll have an image, perhaps a logo, that you want to use on a website, and you’ll want that image to have a transparent background.  Here’s how to make an image have a transparent background using a free drawing program called Paint.net (note this solution works on Windows only). 1. Download and Install … Read more

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